Jan 7, 2013

DIY Painting Tips For Cabinets & Furniture

At Touch of Tradition I love to help clients re-purpose furniture and salvage cabinets that are in great condition but need a face lift. Painting does the job very nicely.  With the right techniques and colors, I’ve taken dressers and made fabulous dining room storage units and transformed oak cabinets into sleek contemporary ones.  While this blog  has many ideas for painting, distressing and antiquing, a great finish starts with these tips. Call me for help, colors and ideas!

·     Use the best brush you can afford for a smooth finish. My favorite is a 2” angled brush from Purdy that gets into crevices, is wide enough to ‘lay off’ well, yet small enough to be manageable for almost any project.

·     Prepare your surface carefully. The right preparation is the difference between an blotchy finish and a professional looking job. While sanding does a great first job to remove color or stain, be sure you clean the surface of previously painted wood by washing it with soap and water or a solution of tri-sodium phosphate. Don’t skip the priming for both bare or pre-painted wood.

·     Use a paint conditioner for better adhesion, penetration, and flow of paint. I like Pentrol or Floetrol depending upon the type of paint I use. This will also make it easier for you to  smooth out brush marks.

·     The brand and type of paint does matter.  If you are doing antiquing, glazing, or other special finishes interior latex paint dries fast and sands well.  For exterior applications I use exterior paint. I prefer no and low VOC paints from Sherwin Williams since their color retention, application, and overall performance is top-notch.

·     Paint where you have enough space to work without a breeze. I prefer to lay cabinet doors and dresser doors drawers face up so I can evenly paint all of their surface area.  Painting flat is a great idea since gravity helps smooth out brush marks. A few saw horses with planks on top makes a great surface to walk around and even look under. I don’t use fans that blow directly on the surface or allow the breeze to deposit debris on my wet paint.  

Re-used materials make up these white cabinets which were
hand-finished to create a new kitchen for an historically significant home.